Tribal claim adds new twist to Long Island bridge flap – Boston Herald

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Robert Ullmann on Thursday said he expects to rule within the next week whether to allow a Native American tribe to intervene in the city of Quincys lawsuit opposing Bostons plan to build a new bridge connecting Moon Island in Quincy to Long Island in Boston Harbor.

Boston wants to replace the structurally unsound bridge it tore down in 2015 and open a drug-recovery campus on Long Island, which used to have 800 beds for homeless people and recovering addicts.

But the Chaubunagungamaug Nipmuck Tribe wants the court to order an environmental impact review because the tribe says the island served as a concentration camp for Native Americans in 1676 and could be the site of artifacts and an Indian burial ground.

If they dont allow this environmental impact statement, then I would be opposed to the bridge, said Ken White, chairman of Chaubunagungamaug Nipmuck Indian Council.

Christopher M. Walker, chief of staff for Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, said the mayor absolutely supports the tribes right to intervene.

Bostons opposition to that is just one of many examples of Boston trying to steamroll stakeholders through every step of this process, Walker said.

Quincy is suing Boston, partly because of the traffic it says a new bridge would create.

Dorchester Street, the road that leads to Moon Island and then to Long Island, was not built for the kind of traffic that Boston, at least anecdotally, (says) that the services on the island will require, Walker said in an email. BUT, he added in an email, we have always said from Day 1 that our concerns have nothing to do with any proposed use (of Long Island). We just believe they could do everything they want via water transportation and do it a lot quicker and cheaper, too.

Boston officials say the city remains committed to working with tribal organizations to find ways to recognize and memorialize the history of Native Americans on the harbor Islands.

Mayor Martin Walsh has met with representatives from the Muhheconneuk Intertribal Committee on Deer Island and the North American Indian Center of Boston to discuss their requests, city officials said.

Boston also is going through permitting with the Massachusetts Historical Commission to conduct an archaeological survey of the area of proposed work associated with the reconstruction of the bridge, city officials said.

And Boston voluntarily prepared an unanticipated-discoveries plan that would become part of the contract for the construction work, requiring contractors to stop work and alert relevant parties if archaeologically significant artifacts or human remains are found during construction, said Sammy Nabulsi, who is representing the city in the lawsuit.

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Tribal claim adds new twist to Long Island bridge flap - Boston Herald

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